Tournament: Cincinnati Open 2022
Round: Third round (Round of 16)
Venue: Cincinnati, United States
Category: ATP Masters 1000
Prize money: $6,280,880
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel & Bally Sports | Canada - TSN, Sportsnet, TVA Sports | UK - Amazon Prime Video | India - Sports 18 & Voot.
Carlos Alcaraz vs Marin Cilic preview
Third seed Carlos Alcaraz will face 14th seed Marin Cilic in the third round of the 2022 Western & Southern Open.
Alcaraz has had an extraordinary season so far, winning 43 out of 51 matches with four titles to his name. The Spaniard won two Masters 1000 titles in Miami and Madrid while also triumphing at the Rio Open and the Barcelona Open.
After making a second-round exit at the Canadian Open in Montreal last week, he bounced back in Cincinnati, registering a commanding 6-3, 6-2 win in his opener against Mackenzie McDonald.
Cilic, on the other hand, has struggled with his form this season, winning just 25 out of his 39 matches. After being troubled by injuries, the Croatian has put together a few good performances lately.
He reached the semifinals at the French Open and the Queens Club Championships. While he was expected to make a deep run at Wimbledon, he was forced to pull out of the tournament after testing positive for COVID-19 just before the Championships began. The 33-year-old had a solid tournament in Montreal last week, reaching the Canadian Open Round of 16 before losing to Tommy Paul.
Cilic made a strong start in Cincinnati, beating Spaniard Jaume Munar 6-3, 6-3 in his opening match. He had a tougher outing in the second round, needing three sets to get past Emil Ruusuvuori with a 6-4, 6-7(5), 7-5 win.
Carlos Alcaraz vs Marin Cilic head to head
The duo have faced each other twice on the ATP tour, with both of them winning one match each. The head-to-head currently stands at 1-1.
They last met in Miami earlier this year, where Alcaraz won in straight sets.
Carlos Alcaraz vs Marin Cilic odds
(Odds will be updated when available)
Carlos Alcaraz vs Marin Cilic prediction
Alcaraz is having his most successful season yet, having achieved his highest career ranking at World No. 4 this year. Although he has been making deep runs in most tournaments, he has also been prone to the odd early-round exit.
The 19-year-old stays well behind the baseline for large chunks of his matches and plays some solid groundstrokes. He adapts well to slow courts, where he can chase the ball and engage in longer rallies. To add to all that, his deceptive drop shot makes him a constant threat for opponents who play close to the baseline like himself.
Cilic, meanwhile, has a big serve and does not like to engage in longer rallies. Instead, he tries to dominate and finish each point quickly. While his serve is his biggest weapon, he is currently unable to maintain a consistent first serve percentage.
In his last match against Russuvuori, he managed to put in only 50% of his first serve. Alcaraz, who is among one of the best returners on tour at the moment, will surely dominate the match if Cilic does not improve on his service consistency.
Alcaraz will enter the match as the favorite but Cilic cannot be undermined. That said, the Spaniard should be the easy pick to get past his older opponent and progress to the next round.
Pick: Alcaraz to win in straight sets.